Irfanvertising: Incisive Brand-Naming

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A terrific film. And an even better example of brand-naming. That’s simply Talvar for you. Here’s what I mean – about the second statement. (After all, this is under the ‘Irfanvertising’ umbrella, not the ‘Irficionado’ one.)

Whoever came up with the name for the movie (Vishal Bhardwaj himself?) should be lauded for it. On two counts.

Movies based on real-life stories/incidents, especially much dissected and debated like this one, can’t mention the real-life names. So, they change the names, but only the really clever – no, intelligent – folk come up with masterpiece names, like in this case.

The movie, as you would know, is about the Noida 2008 double murders, in which the dentist couple, with the surname Talwar, have been eventually convicted to life imprisonment (though they have appealed against the judgment, and the matter is under hearing). Since almost all Bollywood movie names are written in English, the makers have used this practice to come up with a name so close to the original, it’s as scary as the incidents that apparently transpired that night. They’ve changed just one letter – W to V – and retained the core. Even better: in Hindi, of course, there’s no change in spelling.

What this also does is that it takes itself way above any other movie that came about or will come about based on the case. (Rahasya, which released earlier this year, based on the same case, was such a tepid name – Secret – for a pretty decent movie.) And it takes it way higher than the original/working title of the movie, Noida. (That’s like naming Drishyam, Panaji.)

Rahasya Poster for the initial name (Noida) of the movie, Talvar

Now, the bigger point. Which the outgoing CDI (changed from the original CBI) director himself makes in the movie. He brings the incumbent investigating officer’s (played with superlative restraint and anguish both, by Irrfan Khan) attention to all the accoutrements of the Lady of Justice.

Graphical image of Lady of JusticeThe Lady is well known for having a scale in her hand (she will listen to both sides equally) and also for being blindfolded (she will not regard things superficially). But not many notice, the director enlightens, that the Lady also holds a talwar/talvar (sword) in her other hand. For fighting injustice, for cutting the crap misrepresentatives of justice present in court, for cutting through to the truth.

A sharp, cutting, edgy brand name – if ever there was one. And this – since I don’t believe in religion and religious books – I can say with my hand on… my heart.

To know more about the case, visit its Wikipedia page: 2008 Noida double murder case

To read the review by one of my favourite film reviewers, Rediff’s Raja Sen, go here: Talvar review by Raja Sen


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